Saturday, August 31, 2013

So you wanna DIY?

So I've been getting a lot of positive feedback on my DIY projects and tutorials - Thank you!  But the one thing I keep hearing from people is, "I wish I could do that."  I swear, that line leaves me with a confused look on my face every time - if I could do it, why can't you?

Most times when I ask the "Why can't you?" question, I get a response like, "I'm not that creative" or "I wouldn't know where to begin".  That got me thinking, why not put together a beginner's guide to crafting and DIY?  Thus, the purpose of this post.

 Original image by Heather Bailey

So, first thing's first:  What is DIY?  DIY is an abbreviation for the term "Do It Yourself".  That means that YOU, yourself can do it.  Just like the little engine, YOU CAN DO IT!  All you need is a little inspiration - and you can get that for free all over the place.

DIY projects are the best because most times, you can make something wayyyyyyy cheaper than it would cost for you to buy it at a store.  And unless you sh*t diamonds, I'm pretty sure your budget would greatly appreciate that.  They also allow you to explore your creative side (that you think you don't have) so you can make things that are truly unique and show off your own personality.

I know that ALL of you (yes, even you diamond sh*tters) have seen something and thought to yourself, "Pshh, I could do that."  THAT is where your DIY inspiration comes from.  You see something and you know you could recreate it...but then what do you do?  Most of you probably just put it in the "maybe one day" file in the back of your mind and then end up forgetting about it.  There's your problem:  Don't forget about it!  Quick tip:  If you don't already have a Pinterest account, GET ONE NOW!  If you do, create a board specifically for DIY projects that you KNOW you can do.

Some of the most basic tools and supplies that I use constantly when working on a simple DIY project are:  a good pair of scissors, a glue gun, some scrapbook paper, a bunch of yarn or embroidery floss (you can buy packs full of different colors at Walmart and other stores), a needle and some thread, and my printer.  Obviously you'll need to add to your supply kit as you go along and depending on the type of project you're taking on - home decor and home improvement need an entirely different beginner's supply list.

When you're first starting out, the most important thing is to take on projects that you are 110% sure you can accomplish.  Just like when learning to walk, we all need to take baby steps first - otherwise we'll fall flat on our asses.  Taking on small, manageable projects will help you to practice some basic skills like stitching, painting, cutting, and drawing before taking on more ambitious projects.

Here are some DIY projects that are both cheap and simple to make:

- Wire Heart Bracelet
- Hand-Sewn Cards
- Chalkboard Coasters
- Copper Pipe Necklace
- Map String Art

The most important thing to remember when taking on any type of project:  Be Patient.  Mistakes are bound to happen, so instead of stressing out about them, learn from them.  Mistakes can always be corrected somehow - and sometimes, mistakes can turn a project into something else entirely!  Learn to adapt and use that imagination to make something wonderful!

I hope this post has inspired you to go out and make something.  We've got a three-day weekend, folks!  Let's use it wisely and creatively!

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